6 Top Posts in 2011 and 3 Things You Can Expect to Change


Okay, I’ll admit this is nothing unusual. When I went to a Houston Astros home game at Milwaukee’s Miller Park (1172.02 miles and 19 hours 42 minutes driving time from Houston’s Minute Maid Park according to MapQuest), that was unusual. Being one of a dozen Houston fans sprinkled among the 10,000 Cub fans was not only unusual but downright weird. My Houston gear stood out like a pink tutu at a Hell’s Angels biker rally. Can we say, “Uncomfortable?”

Blue and red represents the sea of Cub fans at an Astros' "home" game.

But writing about change and reflection in week one of 2012, not unusual at all.

First, about change. In terms of change of direction, I have the turning radius of a battleship. I need a lot of time and space to maneuver. So whatever changes happen here happen at the speed of a dysfunctional church committee. But, in my case, change will occur.

Second, about reflection. I’ve had time to reflect about my passions and my tendencies. My passion is community—more specifically, community built around our common faith in Jesus Christ. In relation to that passion, my tendency is to use odd connections to illustrate truth (I’d say religious truth but you can’t partition truth off into different categories. Truth is truth. Opinion is opinion. On rare occasion, the two line up.).

I’ll offer two recent examples of odd connections.

No Walk in the Park Let Me Tell You uses a dog park to illustrate conversations at church.

A Christmas Classic? takes the opening of The African Queen to illustrate the heart of the Christmas message.

The beginning of the year is a good time to look back and here are 2011’s Top Half-Dozen Posts.

1)      4 Lessons I Learned from “Heaven Is For Real”

2)     Shall We Gather at the River?

3)     Jet Lag, Fatigue, and Sick Wife

4)      When Does Inspiration Come?

5)      Tough Times Provide Plenty of Reasons to Be Thankful

6)     How Do You Handle Life’s Surprises?

It’s also a good time to look ahead. Here are a few things you can expect:

1)      Guest bloggers. I have two already in the queue (learned to use that phrase while trudging through London Heathrow). As I build relationships with other writers and bloggers, I want to share their talents with you.

2)      New name for website. At the end of 91 Google pages for “the Journey”, I found this statement: In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 907 already displayed. 907—and that’s not all of them? Sheesh! One website states, “As soon as you enter The Journey, you will immediately be swept away by the beauty of our contemporary decor designed to enhance your dining experience…” Okay, it doesn’t take a Tolstoy-reading dog to figure out “The Journey” is the blog-title equivalent of ice cream’s vanilla. French vanilla…New York vanilla…homemade vanilla…It’s all vanilla. I want to be anything but vanilla. At the end of this post, I’ll offer possible names and ask for your input.

3)      Change of About page, tag line, etc. I plan on doing some rewriting (an author’s daily recreational activity) to better reflect the distinctive flavor—which is not vanilla—of this blog.

Here are two names I’m considering—A Curious Band of Others and Odd Connections. The two names reflect my earlier stated passion and tendencies. I encourage your input and even your additional suggestions.

Question: any suggestions or comments about the name change?

My recommended reading of the other writer in the house (though she denies it): There is Hope! The Sky’s the Limit

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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10 Responses to 6 Top Posts in 2011 and 3 Things You Can Expect to Change

  1. I REALLY like “A Curious Band of Others”! “curious” has such positive connotations. And the whole title is rhythmic.

    Then again, “Odd Connections” is shorter and, perhaps, more memorable. And you could possibly play with “Awed” as well as “Odd”…or “Even” and “Odd.” Love the word “Connections”…shy away from “odd,” but that’s just me. (We call ourselves “eccentric” in our house!)

    Looking forward to seeing your changes implemented and watching your blog grow!

    • tnealtarver says:

      “A curious band of others” appears in my About page. That line has been in my mind from early on in this blogging adventure. Your comment about “curious” shouldn’t surprise me. Your blog title, “One Thing I’ve Learned,” arouses curiosity.

  2. Mary Jeffries says:

    Odd connections sounds perfect! Do you know the old country song, “give me 40 acres and I’ll turn this rig around? Your comment on change reminded me of it! Of course that is me too you know! lol..look forward to growing together in Christ in 2012! Happy New Year. Mary

  3. Brandon says:

    I like the name odd connections… And about guest posting, I think that is a great idea! I have started guest post Fridays on my site. If you are interested, just email me and let me know!

    • tnealtarver says:

      I’d love to guest blog. You want me to write about my jazz riffs during worship? 🙂

      • jonstolpe says:

        I’m with Brandon. I like “Odd Connections.”

        Regarding guest blogging, I’d love to guest post on your site, and I’d love to have you guest post over on my Stretched blog. Send me the particulars of what you’re looking for.

  4. tnealtarver says:

    Jon, sounds like a good bit of Christian cross pollination. That should prove fruitful. We’ll have to do more than exchange comments. Email me – ttarver@mwt.net – and we’ll go from there.

  5. Lori says:

    I teach a literary analysis class to a group of homeschooled high schoolers. Next week we learn about similies. I would like to borrow your line ” My Houston gear stood out like a pink tutu at a Hell’s Angels biker rally” as a great example that also made me laugh. Nicely done. (Of course, they’ll probably be shocked when I use the H word – uncommon in our vocabulary 🙂

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